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The other day I came across どうたら and while looking it up I noticed that たら is classified as a particle. どうたら is apparently an abbreviation of どうたらこうたら, so I see that it should work for ああ and そう (by the way, what are these called?), but I'm having a hard time imagining how else it is used.

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If by ああ you mean "Ah!", then it's an interjection. –  Alenanno Oct 22 '11 at 13:42
I mean like ああ (like that)、こう (like this)、そう (like that[?])、どう (like how). –  Louis Oct 22 '11 at 13:45
They are called demonstratives or demonstrative pronouns. In informal terms, they are also called こそあど言葉. –  sawa Oct 22 '11 at 16:56

1 Answer 1

どう and こう replace verbs here. -たら is a particle that attaches only to verbs and i adjectives. It means something like "do this, do that".

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So this is the same たら as the one in [verb]ったら, [adj]ったら? Do you know why it attaches directly to どう? –  Louis Oct 22 '11 at 16:12
I mean, I would have expected it to be こうだったら, sort of like how it is with nouns and na-adjectives. –  Louis Oct 22 '11 at 16:20
どう is understood as a replacement for any unnamed verb or adjective, kind of like blabla this, blabla that. –  alexandrec Oct 22 '11 at 16:24
It does not mean "do this, do that", but it can mean "did this, and did that". It also means "this and that". It is often used as abbreviation of quotation. 彼がどうたらこうたら行っている 'He is saying this and that'. Variants are どうのこうの, どうこう, どうしたこうした, ああだこうだ, うんたらかんたら, うんぬん(かんぬん). They are idiosyncratic expressions, and there is no grammatical reason why some combinations work while others do not. –  sawa Oct 22 '11 at 17:11
@sawa - 彼がどうたらこうたら言っている; typo –  istrasci Oct 22 '11 at 21:29

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